News : Formula 1: Charles Leclerc wins in Spa and mourns Anthoine Hubert


News :

Formula 1: Charles Leclerc wins in Spa and mourns Anthoine Hubert


For a long time Formula 1 had to deal with such a situation. A race weekend, marked by a serious accident, there was a dead on the track. Anthoine Hubert, the young Formula 2 driver from France, was killed in Saturday's Formula 2 race at Spa-Francorchamps. A mortgage for the entire Formula 1, a special mortgage for the 21-year-old Charles Leclerc.

The Ferrari driver from Monte Carlo had dominated the weekend by driving, he had won the free practice, dominated the qualifying and then drove off the race on Sunday from the top. It was sporty the biggest thing Leclerc has ever experienced, his first Formula 1 victory, the first success of a driver from Monaco beyond. In addition, he released the so far awaiting the first success Ferrari fans. And he said, "I can not be happy about that."

"I won the race but I lost a friend", it was "very difficult to enjoy the sporting success". Leclerc and Hubert already knew each other as children, "we grew up together in motorsport," said Leclerc in the first interview after the success he dedicated to his dead friend. "This is for Antoine."

Jules Bianchi was also a friend of Leclerc

Four years ago, the last time a Formula One driver was killed - it was the Frenchman Jules Bianchi, and he too was a friend and companion of Leclerc. Bianchi was seriously injured in the race in Suzuka, Japan, and after nine months he died in a coma hospital. The parents of Bianchi once also financially supported the young Leclerc so that he could advance his motorsport career.

Before the race in Belgium, there had been a minute of silence, in the 19th round, the spectators in Spa were asked to stand up, Hubert had had the start number 19 in Formula 2, but then the motto was: The show must go on. Then it was about the hardness of the tires, the strategically best time for the pit stops, the team order at Ferrari. To cancel the Grand Prix after the death of Hubert was never an option. "A race between state of shock and business as usual," summed up the German press agency.

After the race, Leclerc remembered his deceased friend

Mark Thompson / Getty Images

After the race, Leclerc remembered his deceased friend

The day after the accident was again a lot of normalcy in the Formula 1 scene, even if the usual champagne shower after the race was omitted this time. The winner, however - he made sure that you will not move so quickly to the agenda. Leclerc raised his finger at the award ceremony, refusing to drink the champagne bottle on the podium. With the phrase, "I will always remember this race," he combined all the different emotions that this weekend in Spa-Francorchamps brought him.

For the first time the pole position brought to the finish

For the third time, the 21-year-old had conquered the pole position in qualifying in a Formula 1 race, but this time, unlike in Bahrain and Spielberg, he brought his ideal starting position to the finish. For two years, Leclerc in Formula 1, that he is already sitting next to Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari cockpit, perhaps representing the most traditional racing team of Formula 1, has increased expectations of him enormously. With the victory of Spa, the hierarchy issue at Ferrari will come up again.

The Ferrari team order from Sunday certainly spoke a clear language. Vettel could do nothing to endanger the victory of his teammate. He even had to let him pass after the German was in front of the pit stops in the meantime. The team had clearly committed to Leclerc that day. Only for this one race. But the rumors from the previous weeks, Vettel think about a career end after, one may also have heard in Maranello.

Charles Leclerc is the future of Formula One. This weekend has taken a lot out of him, and it has made him mature.

Editor's note: An earlier version of the text stated that Jules Bianchi had died in the Suzuka race. In fact, he died after nine months in a coma in the hospital. We have corrected the position.


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